The coronavirus lockdown has resulted in sporting action all across the globe being cancelled or suspended as a precaution against the spread of the deadly virus. March 26, which was the MLB starting date for the new season, was postponed until April 9 due to the coronavirus US pandemic and is set to be delayed further due to the coronavirus lockdown with reports suggesting that the MLB season could be postponed until the Memorial Day weekend. However, latest reports suggest that the MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) are discussing the possibility of starting the MLB 2020 season with all games to be held in Arizona.
While there is no certainty on the MLB starting date for the upcoming season, the MLB and the MLBPA are considering beginning baseball action in Arizona amidst the COVID-19 crisis. According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, the capital of Arizona, Phoenix, has been of particular interest with MLB franchises having their spring training facilities in the city and the Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks is also in proximity.
If reports are to be believed, the MLB starting date could be sometime in May, however, considering the coronavirus situation, a June start would be more prudent. According to Jeff Passan, the MLB season could start in May, however, it is likely that games will be be played behind closed doors in Arizona. It remains to be seen if that is the case, considering the teams would have to let go of their gate receipts, which account for an estimated $10 billion in revenue for the league. There could be changes to the way the games are played and Passan reports that an electronic strike zone to allow the plate umpire to maintain sufficient distance from the catcher and batter will be implemented among other things.
NEWS: Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are focusing on a plan backed by federal health officials that could have players in training camps by May and games soon thereafter.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 7, 2020
Details at ESPN on how MLB may return -- and the difficulty in doing so: https://t.co/zDoNa3k4pm